Hearing set for historical society lease

Published 4:02 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Isle of Wight’s Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Dec. 9 on a proposed lease agreement that would allow the county’s historical society to meet and store records in the old circuit court clerk’s office.

The proposed 25-year lease would require rent in the amount of $1 annually, with the Isle of Wight County Historical Society having the option to make one payment of $25 for the entire term.

According to the public hearing announcement published in the Nov. 24 edition of The Smithfield Times, the society would gain access to a 208-square-foot room in the front of the building and a 374-square-foot room in the back for its archives.

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The entire detached building measures 2,511 square feet. It served as the circuit court clerk’s office until a new courthouse was built in 2010 that moved the clerk’s office and courts into a single building. Since that time, the old clerk’s office has remained vacant.

Isle of Wight’s Board of Supervisors had previously discussed the idea of partnering with the historical society on a renovation of the old clerk’s office last February after the society’s negotiations with the town of Smithfield to use the historic Wombwell House on West Main Street as its headquarters fell through. The Wombwell House was demolished Dec. 1.

Per the proposed lease agreement, the society would be required to reimburse the county for up to $25,000 of the cost of the renovation, and would be responsible for maintaining the dedicated heating and air conditioning system in the document storage room once it’s installed. The cost of all other utilities would be paid by the county.

The open session portion of the meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the boardroom of the county’s government complex at Monument Circle.